Man Down est un film américain sorti en 2016 sur les traumatismes liés à la guerre.
En proie à un syndrome post-traumatique après une éprouvante opération militaire en Afghanistan, un Marine recherche sa famille dans une Amérique en ruines.
Spoiler d'intrigues !
Cette partie contient des informations sur les événements de ce film. Il est conseillé de la lire avec prudence, voire pas du tout !
The story transpires in a non-linear fashion, following U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer in training, in battle in Afghanistan, in counselling in Afghanistan, while searching for his family after returning to a devastated United States, and in his final moments as his broken mind returns to reality.
Drummer is at Camp LeJeune, training as a U.S. Marine. He and wife Natalie have a young son, Jonathan. When Jonathan gets bullied at school after Natalie tells him, "I love you", in front of his schoolmates, Gabriel comes up with "man down" as a secret code for "I love you".
Gabriel leaves to serve a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Devin Roberts is his best friend since childhood and fellow Marine. Devin stays home for a few extra weeks while recuperating from a broken arm.
Devin arrives in Afghanistan, where he and Gabriel are "battle buddies, kicking in doors together and taking enemy fire", further reinforcing their friendship. When their squad is ambushed, Devin is fatally shot and apologizes to Gabriel just before he dies. Gabriel finds a note inside Devin's helmet, on which Devin's password for a video chatting website is written. Gabriel accesses the website and realizes that Natalie cheated on him with Devin.
Gabriel is deeply traumatized by the series of events. Still in Afghanistan, he begins mandatory counseling sessions with therapist Captain Peyton, who is concerned about Gabriel's mental condition. However, Gabriel insists that he is okay and walks out of Peyton's office.
When Gabriel returns home, he finds his city devastated. Accompanied (inexplicably - a sign of his break from reality) by Devin, he searches the ruins for Natalie and Jonathan. The two encounter Charles, a civilian trying to survive in the wasteland of the former city. When Gabriel finds that Charles has the envelope from a letter that Gabriel wrote to Jonathan, he and Charles scuffle. In the confusion, Devin accidentally shoots Charles.
In the final minutes of the film, events finally sort themselves out for the viewer (but not for Gabriel). Gabriel is again seen returning home, on medical discharge for mental issues, to a perfectly normal city – although he is greeted by Devin, whom no one else can see. Natalie is uncertain about Gabriel's state of mind from the loss of Devin and the loss of Gabriel's trust in her. Gabriel ends up living on the streets, regularly traumatizing his family and eventually shooting Charles, who was simply another troubled person living on the streets.
Brandishing a gun, shooting their dog, a confused Gabriel "rescues" Jonathan from the "ruins" of their home, hiding with him in another "ruined" building (in reality the main floor of his own home), where they are soon surrounded by the police. He strangles a policeman to death and keeps radioing Devin for backup. Natalie comes down the stairs – although Gabriel sees her as the Afghani woman who shot Devin and holds a gun to her head. He suddenly finds clarity and apologizes to Natalie and Jonathan for his confusion just moments before a police sniper shoots him repeatedly. The film ends with Jonathan hugging Gabriel after he is restrained by police.
The screen fades to black, then shows the text:
1 in 5 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are diagnosed with PTSD
200,000 veterans go homeless each night
20 veterans commit suicide every day